2009 Ojai "Melville Vineyard" Sta. Rita Hills Syrah
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Every bit as good, with a touch more gaminess and meatiness (which is common for the vineyard), the 2009 Syrah Melville dishes out superb blackberry, pepper, bacon fat and smoke as well as supple, voluptuous feel on the palate. Medium to full-bodied, with gorgeous purity of fruit and a solid mid-palate, it will have over a decade of longevity. Drink now-2021+. This was one thrilling lineup of wines by Adam Tolmach and assistant winemaker Fabien Castel and this is always one of my favorite visits during my trip through the region. After making wine for close to 30 years, Adam continues to push for improvement and is subtly tweaking his wines to get more freshness, focuses and elegance out of them. Minimal new oak, low SO2 and few rackings are all the norm here, and these 2009s, 2010s and 2011s are some of the strongest wines I’ve tasted from this estate. They’re all highly recommended.
A distinctly powerful, brooding Syrah, the 2009 Melville is going to need some time to come around. Tar, menthol, graphite, smoke and earthiness all flesh out in the glass over time. This is an especially somber wine from Ojai with considerable gravitas and no shortage of personality. This is a fabulous set of wines from Ojai...Frankly, I am not sure where to start, as there are so many wines here that are worthy of serious consideration...Suffice it to say I can't wait to taste the rest of 2010 Syrahs. As a consumer, sometimes it feels there are no great values left in California. Ojai is a rare exception. These wines deliver the goods (and then some) yet remain exceptionally fairly priced.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright purple. Smoky dark berry liqueur and Indian spices on the nose, with seductive floral and bacon fat qualities adding complexity. Very syrah. Fat and juicy, offering sweet, concentrated blackberry and cassis flavors, velvety texture and strong spicy lift. Dusty tannins give shape and grip to the finish, which lingers with strong, smoky persistence.